We use cookies to give you the best experience and to help improve our website. By using our website you are accepting our cookies.  Learn More

UK Coaching Team
Developing Mindsets Belonging Participant

Understanding the Role of Identity in Sport

In the first resource in this mini-series, Sport Psychologist Rebecca Chidley and UK Coaching’s Chris Chapman explore the importance of identity for people participating in sport throughout their life course

Throughout the world of sport, individuals of all ages commit a huge amount of time and energy to developing skills, achieving desired outcomes, and reaching the next level of their respective sport(s). As coaches and support staff, we should be aware of the impact that this may have on an individual’s identity and identity development.

This series will explain the role of identity in sport throughout the lifespan and identify concepts to consider that have an impact for you and/or the people you coach.

Self-identity and athletic identity

Self-identity is shaped and comprises of the goals, values, and beliefs which the person thinks are personally important and are committed to.

When considered in a sporting context, it is the degree to which an individual as an athlete identifies with the athlete role.

If we consider our goals, values and beliefs, we may find that they are all heavily influenced by sport and being an athlete, especially if we are participating and competing on a regular basis with few other activities in our lives.

The commitment of an individual’s identity to the sporting role without exploration of alternatives indicates a state of identity acceptance.

If this occurs, then some individuals can have an ‘exclusive’ identity and derive their self-identity exclusively from the athlete role (this can be similar for you as a coach who sees their value and worth through your sport success as a coach).

To unlock this full resource, you need to become a UK Coaching Club Premium Member.

Not ready to join yet? Register for free to receive the latest #GreatCoaching news, tips and offers delivered straight to your inbox, access our Duty to Care digital badge and much more!

Already a member? Login below to access this resource.

Unlock with Premium

To unlock this resource, power your coaching with our Premium Membership

Elevate your skills with 12 months’ unlimited access to 1000+ resources, plus premium benefits that save you money and provide 24/7 support to reduce stress in your life beyond coaching

Join for £36 pa (just 69p a week!)

Let's Go

Already a Premium Member? login here.

Power Your Coaching with Premium Membership


Transform your coaching with unlimited access to 1000+ resources and 24/7 support, including hundreds of money-saving discounts

UK Coaching Team